20 Smart Photoshop Tricks All Designers Should Know About

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Adobe Photoshop is one of the most advanced programs for editing images, used by designers, photographers, and other creative minds. If you are on a deadline, you’re certainly looking for all kind of techniques that can help you finish your tasks faster. This list of smart Photoshop tricks can really reduce your workflow. There are key shortcuts, features, settings you may not know that will help you design faster.

When working with Photoshop there is always something new to learn, new features or just faster, better ways of doing something. There are lots of techniques that are worth your while and will help you boost your productivity.

Here is a list of 20 smart Photoshop tricks you should definitely know about.

Remove Unwanted Objects

There is a way to automatically remove people or some random objects from your photos. When taking the photo, with your camera on a tripod, take 15 shots for the same view, 10 seconds one from the other.

Then, in Photoshop, go to File > Scripts > Statistics and choose “Median” and then select all the picture files you took. Photoshop will analyze the differences in each photo and remove them.

how-to-remove-unwanted-objects-automatically

Select and Activate a Layer

You can quickly select and activate a layer by holding CTRL while using the move tool or check the auto-select option. Using this trick allows you to faster select a layer just by clicking it.

how-to-quickly-select-and-activate-a-layer

Backup and Restore your Work

You should use the history snapshot tool. You can find it on the history panel, by clicking on the camera icon each time you want to “save” your progress. This generates a history snapshot that you can use to return to it when needed.

how-to-backup-and-restore-your-work-on-the-fly

Show One Layer & Make Others Invisible

You can hold the Alt key and click on the eye icon in the layer palette. It will make all the other layers invisible, keeping visible only the layer you picked. You can return the previous state by repeating the action, hold Alt and click the eye icon.

how-to-show-one-layer-make-others-invisible

Alter Values via Mouse Scrub

In Photoshop cs4 and above, you can change input values by use your mouse scrub over them. For example, for changing the opacity of a layer, you can scrub to the left or right to reduce or increase the value.

how-to-alter-values-via-mouse-scrub

Add New Colors Inside The Swatch Palette

You can add new colors to the swatch palette simply by right click to the swatch palette and then click add a new color. You can easily delete any color you don’t like simply by holding down the Alt key and delete it.

how-to-add-new-colors-inside-the-swatch-palette-instantly

Move and Transform Selection

When using the marquee or lasso tools, you sometimes have to move the selection to align it or for other reason. To move it around, you have to hold down the space bar and use your mouse to move it where you want. This trick works with all types of selections.

how-to-move-and-transform-selection

Open Layered File as a Flattened Image

You need to go to File > Open open the file you want. Before clicking Open, you need to hold down Shift + Alt. A dialog box will appear and you click Yes. The file will be opened in a flat version and the loading time is significantly reduced.

how-to-open-layered-file-as-a-flattened-image

Open a File Quickly

There are a couple of ways open a file in Photoshop: go to File > Open and Ctrl + O keyboard shortcut. Also, you could double-click anywhere on the pasteboard to quickly get the Open dialog box.

how-to-open-a-file-quickly

Sample Background Colors Quickly

You can quickly select a sample color by using the eyedropper tool. All you need to do is hold the Alt key and click the color sample you want. For example, when using the brush tool, when holding the Alt key, it temporary switches you to the eye dropper tool.

how-to-sample-background-colors-quickly

Get a Selection Back

Hold Ctrl + Shift + D and get back the selection. Quick and easy!

how-to-get-a-selection-back

Make an Image Bigger With No Quality Loss

You can simply use it by going to Image > Image Size. You need to check the resample option at the bottom of the dialog box.

how-to-make-an-image-bigger-with-no-quality-loss

Change Measuring Units Fast

You can quickly switch between units, just right-click on the ruler and choose the unit you want. If the ruler is not visible use Ctrl + R shortcode.

how-to-change-measuring-units-fast

Make Merged Vector Shapes Editable

You need to select both vectors, from the layers panel, and hold Ctrl + E to merge them quickly. In older versions than cs6, this would result in a rasterized layer, but for cs6 this has changed.

how-to-make-merged-vector-shapes-editable

Resize/Rename/Convert Photos

If you want to edit some low-res images, you need to go to File > Scripts > Image Processor. You then select the folder with the images you want to resize, choose the output dimensions and select Run. Your images will be processed quickly and saved as a JPEG, PSD, or TIFF.

how-to-resaizerenameconvert-a-bunch-of-photos

 Cross Two images For A Color Effect

You have to open a photo with a color palette that you want to use, then open the photo you wish to edit. Go to Image > Adjustments > Match Color menu. You then need to select the photo with the interesting color palette as the source and then customize it with luminance and color intensity until you are happy with the result.

how-to-cross-two-images-for-a-color-effect

Fill Layer with Fore/Background Color

You can fill a layer with fore/background color by using a set of simple hotkeys. To use the background color use Ctrl + Del. Or, to fill a layer with the foreground color, hit Alt + Del.

how-to-fill-layer-with-forebackground-color-hotkeys

Expand Canvas with the Crop Tool

All you need to do is pull the crop handles outside of the frame and press enter to apply the changes.

how-to-expand-canvas-with-the-crop-tool

Change Text Color Without Highlighting It

You can change the text colors without highlighting the text. You need to select the type tool and be sure the text layer is selected. Then, click the color square in the options bar and select the color you want.

how-to-change-text-color-without-highlighting-it

Access the Hidden Panel Options

You can access the panel options menu from the right-hand corner of any panel. It shows a fly-out menu where you have additional options. Check it out!

how-to-access-the-hidden-panel-options

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